Here is the SOUTH WALES LIFE guide to everything Christmas. We make no excuses for it being long, we are a huge region and there’s so much going on. It’s Christmas though (well almost), so grab an early mince pie, a little drink to ease you along and enjoy our comprehensive guide to the festive season.

A little tip. Bookmark this page and come back regularly. You can bet it’s going to expand over the next few weeks. It’s very simple, either look through the entire page, or click on a particular area and see what’s going on. It would also be a great help to us if you let your friends know it’s here. Our team have worked hard on this and would like lots of you to see it.

Not every area has events as yet, but they are coming soon.

ABERDARE

CHRISTMAS EVENT

The start of Christmas in Aberdare begins on Saturday November 29th. It’s happening allover the town including – Commercial Street, Canon Street, Victoria Square, High Street, Market Street, Cardiff Street, Station Street, Duke Street, so be prepared for these road closures.

Cllr Maureen Webber, Cabinet Member for Council Business and Corporate Affairs, said…..

“Christmas is an important trading time for our town centres, and that is why the Council has committed to financially support Christmas events this year and to also support Christmas lighting.

Over the coming year we will seek to work more closely with town centre traders, town councils and the wider community to ensure even in these austere times we are able to recognise Christmas in the future, despite the on-going cuts to funding we are likely to face.

As a Council, we currently provide more Christmas events than any other local authority in Wales, with these events taking place right across the county.”

Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town – bringing Winter Wonderlands of synthetic ice rinks, snow globes and festive fun with him to spread Christmas magic in Rhondda Cynon Taf. 

His helpers in Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s What’s On RCT events team will be sprinkling festive fun in Porth, Tonypandy, Aberdare, Ferndale and Mountain Ash throughout November and December.

There will be synthetic ice rinks to skate on, an inflatable snow globe to grab a selfie in , street entertainment to get involved with and children’s funfair rides. Plus Santa will be in his grotto and will be handing out gifts to visitors – so make sure you have your list ready for him. 

Christmas in RCT events are always a great way to get into the spirit and start the Christmas countdown. Santa makes a tour of the county borough, with pit stops in a number of town centres so everyone gets a chance to see him. 

The events are also a chance to showcase town centres. All of those hosting Christmas in RCT events this year have free parking and a range of shops and places to eat so you can shop local and grab a stocking-filler while you are out and make a day of it. Visit the Council’s free Christmas car parking page for more information. 

Dates, times and locations of the Winter Wonderlands can be found here……………….

DateTown Time
25th NovemberPorthPorth Plaza Car park15:00 – 18:30
26th NovemberTonypandyDe Winton St Car Park12:00 – 17:00
1st DecemberAberdareAberdare Library Square and Car Park15:00 – 18:30
2nd DecemberFerndaleLime St Park15:00 – 18:30
3rd DecemberMountain AshHenry St Car Park12:00 – 17:00
    

The synthetic ice rinks, snow globe and children’s funfair rides will be £1 per person, per ride.

A visit to Santa’s Grotto, which includes a gift is £2. For more details, go HERE.

ABERGAVENNY

ARTISAN FARMERS CHRISTMAS MARKET

Delight your senses with the aromas and tastes of Christmas! Come and join in at the indoor and outdoor Christmas Artisan Market, and discover a fantastic selection of food and drink, including licensed vendors, whilst choosing from a gorgeous array of artisan crafts and gifts.

We are still waiting for full confirmation but we believer the ARTISAN CHRISTMAS FARMERS MARKET is on Thursday 22nd December in the Market on Cross Street in Abergavenny between 10am and 4pm, admission is FREE.

BARRY

PUGH’S FESTIVE EVENING

Marvel in the magic of Christmas at Pugh’s! You can wander down walkways of beautiful baubles and dazzling decorations and soak up the festive ambience. Give your Christmas some extra sparkle and get yourself ready for making magical memories with your family this festive season.

The Festive Evening in Wenvoe is on Friday 25th November. For more information just go here PUGH’S They also have another centre in Cardiff offering the same thing on Thursday 24th.

FONMAN CASTLE CHRISTMAS

Fonman hope you have a magical time as you wander through the Illuminated Gardens and Dinosaurs and enjoy the atmosphere of Christmas.

Santa shows will run throughout the evening and can be found just in front of the castle entrance. 

Magician Patrick will be here to delight the children with his own special magic tricks.

Follow the Fon & Mon Christmas story along the story trail and interact with our costumed staff throughout the park.

Tickets Start at £10 and you can get yours HERE.

They also have a private meet and greet with Santa Claus and his elves and enjoy a “Special Tea” with your child.

Your child will have a personal experience with Santa Claus and will receive a gift from the “Jolly Man” himself, make forever memories at Fonmon Castle.

Your arrival time is 3pm, the Tea With Santa starting at 3.30pm and runs until 5pm. You have full access to the rest of the site including the Festive Lights, Santa Shows, Mrs Claus, The Magician, The owls and all the festive elves for the rest of the evening.

Spaces are limited to 30 places in total, you will be able to access our festive castle before the rest of the public arrive for the evenings entertainment. Full Details HERE.

BRECON

BRECON SANTA SPECIAL

This is like the real lifesion of the Tom Hanks movie The Polar Express. You get to visit Santa this Christmas and ride the railway to Santa’s grotto. Seriously, this is the perfect experience for families with children.

They’ve been doing these a little while now, 32 years in fact and they are more popular than ever. Which means you need to get in and book ASAP.

All Children and Babies get a present from Santa. Mulled Wine and Mince Pies are served to the Adults. Best of all though, you get to travel by Steam Hauled Train from Pant Station to Santa’s Grotto in Pontsticill where everyone will receive a present from Father Christmas. 

The SANTA SPECIALS are really popular so if you want to book it’s best to call on 01685-722988. The timetable is below and for full details, just go here BRECON

5 train days November 26th & 27th

December 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st & 22nd

Train Times: 10.30, 12.00, 1.30pm, 3.00pm, 4.30pm

3 Train days November 29th & 30th

December 1st, 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th & 15th

Train Times: 10.30, 12.00 &1.30pm

Prices per adult are £20.75 and Children £17.75 

BRIDGEND

ARTISAN CHRISTMAS FOOD, CRAFT & GIFT MARKET

Market featuring independent producers, talented crafters, artisan makers and a few tasty surprises!Meet friends, support local, shop, eat and enjoy!

It’s all taking place in Bridgend Town Centre on Saturday 3rd December between 10 am and 3pm. For more details go HERE.

SANTA’S GROTTO

Thanks to the lovely people at the Lions Club, Santa will be making an appearance at Carnegie House in Bridgend on the following dates…

  • Saturday 26th November
  • Saturday 3rd December
  • Saturday 10th December
  • Saturday 17th December

A visit to see Santa will cost £7.00 for which children receive a quality gift and their family can take their own photographs. These visits have been very popular in the past. On line bookings will incur a 10% booking fee but this will ensure your booking.

They also take bookings on the day (subject to availability) by cash or chip & pin or Contactless card.

The grotto will also include a grand Christmas Hamper raffle.

For details and tickets to see the Big Man, go HERE.

TREE OF LIGHT

During December they are holding a Tree of Light at St Mary’s Church where anyone can sponsor a light for £5 in memory of a loved one or a special cause at Christmas. The tree will be displayed inside the Church foyer.

The Christmas Tree is decorated with hundreds of white lights and is set up under the canopy of the church in early December.

A short dedication service will be held before the lights are switched on at 6:00 pm on Monday 28th November.

St Mary’s School choir sing carols

The Tree of Light is a point of focus for people who want to remember a loved one or a special cause at Christmas. Individuals can dedicate a light on the Tree for £5.00 and the name of your loved one(s) or cause are recorded on a board kept alongside the tree for all to read. Throughout the Christmas period the board is updated constantly as new names are added. Forms and on-line donations will be accepted right up until Christmas Eve.

The Tree has enabled them to raise over £8,000 which has supported not only local causes such as Heronsbridge School but has also contributed substantially to a Lions International project (Campaign Sight First II) which has helped to prevent blindness in more than 24,000,000 people in developing countries.

For more details, go HERE.

CARDIFF

CHRISTMAS AT BUTE PARK

Wales’ biggest festive light trail is back and bigger than ever this winter – with a specially composed soundtrack and a UK premiere in cutting-edge lighting design as its grand finale.

Visitors to Christmas at Bute Park 2022 will be the first in Britain to see the brand new iridescent light orb experience ‘Prismatic’, designed by one of the UK’s foremost lighting designers, DBN Audile. 

This year, there will be an even wider range of food and drink producers and a newly extended area for toasting marshmallows too. Greek Meating Point, Yorkshire PuddingWraps, Pizza Scorchinis, Hot Dogs Gourmet Griddle, Indian Keralan Karavan, Brownies Chock Shop, Smoking Griddle Cardiff, Churros Hermanos and a host of other suppliers are also among the new food offerings for 2022.

Christmas at Bute Park is also the only light trail in the UK to have signed up to the Attitude is Everything charter, launched to improve deaf and disabled people’s access to live music by working in partnership with audiences, artists and the music industry. 

We have a couple of features so you can find out more……

Christmas at Bute Park

CARDIFF CASTLE CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL

It’s all slightly different this year, bigger, better and something for all the family with the arrival of the CARDIFF CASTLE CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL will see a specially-made Spiegeltent put up in the grounds of Cardiff Castle where it will show a Christmas ballet, family musical and comedy cabaret and burlesque.

Produced by Cardiff-based live events company Live Under the Stars, who brought us the big Jubilee Concert this year, and Jamboree Entertainment, the festival will include three incredible shows offering something for everyone. It all gets underway on Friday November 25th and runs through to Sunday 8th January next year.

There’s Rubicon Dance Company’s NUTCRACKER – the Christmas ballet with a Welsh twist; SANTA’S WISH – a brand new magical musical adventure for the whole family; and CASTELLANA – a jaw-dropping blend of world class cabaret, circus, burlesque, and comedy.

The shows will be performed in the ornate and intimate 570-seat Fortuna Spiegeltent within the historical grounds of Cardiff Castle and promises to transport audiences to a nostalgic and magical world.

Best thing to do, is head over to our features below which have all the very latest information on each of the show with links to tickets.

Santa’s Wish – 2nd to 31st December

CHRISTMAS HOUSE TOURS

A special, seasonal version of our popular House Tour that lets you experience a Victorian Christmas at Cardiff Castle. Your guide will lead you around our most popular rooms decorated in spectacular fashion ready for Christmas. Hear about a typical festive season for the Bute family, their Christmas Day feast, the children’s pantomimes and learn about Victorian traditions we still follow today.

At the end of your tour enjoy the festivities in the grounds from our covered seating area with free glass of mulled wine for adults.

Tours run the 26th November till 18th December at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30pm, prices start at £6 and you can get more details HERE.

CARDIFF CHRISTMAS MARKET

The Cardiff Christmas Market is back on the pedestrian streets of St John Street, Working Street, Trinity Street and the Hayes   –  the main shopping pedestrian areas in Cardiff City Centre, with yet another exciting and eclectic mix. There are both new and returning exhibitors as their original, hand made products are the essence of what makes the market so different and special every year.

This well established Christmas Market sited in the heart of Cardiff City Centre has been organised and successfully in excess of 20 years. It is a unique visitor attraction and offers an alternative shopping experience as you are buying original work directly from the makers themselves. Each year they have an extensive rolling programme of over 200 individual businesses selling a wide variety of diverse arts and crafts interspersed with seasonal food and drink.

CARDIFF CHRISTMAS MARKET runs until Friday 23rd December. The trading hours will be: Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm and Sunday 10am to 5pm. If you’re in town, especially in the evening, it’s always worth a visit. To find out more, go here. MARKET

WINTER WONDERLAND

With an ice rink, seasonal activities, bars and food stalls, all against the backdrop of the iconic civic centre and spectacular lights you really don’t want to miss a visit (or two) to the WINTER WONDERLAND.

Split once again across two locations in the heart of the city centre, visitors will now be able to experience Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland at both Cardiff Castle and City Hall Lawn.

It’s not just about the skating! Cardiff’s WINTER WONDERLAND has a funfair including a wide range of games and rides, including familiar favourite, the Big Wheel. The Sur La Piste bar has two floors and is the perfect place to catch up with friends and family over a mulled wine – or just sit back and relax on the sofas while enjoying a hot chocolate. The authentic wooden chalet is guaranteed to get everyone in the festive mood.

Family Funfair Attractions

Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland just isn’t complete without its famous family funfair. As usual, you can enjoy the best view of the city from the Giant Wheel plus, there will be a great range of other attractions that are suitable for all ages and nightly entertainment.

Sur la Piste, Ski Lodge Bar

The ever popular two-story ski lodge, Sur la Piste, will be returning and this year it’s coming with a brand new, outdoor roof terrace.

The Ice Bar!

Chill out with your mates and enjoy a drink at the city’s coolest hotspot, the exciting new Ice Bar experience at Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland! This is an Instagrammers’ heaven with sub-zero temperatures and yes, everything is made out of ice. To visit the Ice Bar, make sure you pre-book a timed slot.

Festive Food & Drink

Sit back and enjoy your favourite sweet and savoury treats in the Alpine Village’s covered seating areas.

It’s free to enter the WINTER WONDERLAND, but there is a charge for additional activities. To avoid disappointment it’s advised that you book ice skating tickets in advance at WONDERLAND It runs to Sunday 8th January 2023.

  • Opening Day – Tuesday 15th November: 17:00 – 22:00
  • Wednesday 16th November – Sunday 4th December:
  • Monday – Thursday: 12.00 – 22.00
  • Friday – Sunday: 11.00 – 22:00
  • 5th December onwards:
  • Daily: 11.00 – 22.00
  • Special Opening Hours:
  • Christmas Eve – 24th December: 11.00 – 20:00
  • Christmas Day & Boxing Day – 25th & 26th December: Closed
  • New Years Eve – 31st December: 11.00 -00.30
  • New Years Day – 1st Jan: 11.00 -20.00

CHRISTMAS AT DYFFRYN GARDENS

This year Dyffryn Gardens is offering everyone the chance to quite literally step into Christmas. There will be life-size Edwardian Christmas cards for you to go inside and be a part of. You can try your hand at traditional Christmas games, see all the festive floral decorations, grab a hot seasonal drink and listen to choirs sing carols.

Go inside the Christmas of a bygone era this year at Dyffryn. We have three life-size Edwardian Christmas cards for you to be a part of. Let your imagination run away with you and drive Father Christmas’ sleigh all the way to the North Pole, be part of a winter snowman scene with an Edwardian pal and make friends with the Nutcracker.

Our café will also be offering festive treats so you can grab a seasonal snack and hot drink to make your Christmas even more merry. Plus, every weekend during December choirs will be singing Christmas classics old and new.

Christmas 2022 at Dyffryn Gardens will be enchanting and family-friendly, encompassing the outdoors, nature, and history. From young to old, there will be plenty to delight every member of the family this Christmas at Dyffryn.

Christmas at Dyffryn Gardens runs from the 3rd December to the 6th January 2023. For more details, go HERE.

ST FAGANS CHRISTMAS

They have a range of event at St Fagans this Christmas, here’s just a few of them……

Christmas Willow Wreaths

Using traditional willow weaving techniques, come and learn how to make beautiful, natural Christmas wreaths for your home on this half-day hands-on course.

  • 3rd and 4th December 10:30 – 1pm & 1:30 – 4pm 
  • Cost £50 | £40 Concession

More details – HERE.

Festive Afternoon Tea for Two at St Fagans

Enjoy a festive tea for two at the Museum. Enjoy a selection of sandwiches, festive savories and a selection of sweet treats, with a bottomless cup of Welsh Brew tea or triple certified coffee.

  • 3rd to 22nd December – 2pm-5pm 
  • Cost £29.95

More details – HERE.

The Big Museum Winter Trail

Pop in during December for our festive feel-good family trail.  

Find the Museum Elves to help complete the snow friend, then take it home to transform into a decoration to top your tree. 

What do you get?   

  • A3 full colour trail with craft activity  
  • A pack of crayons 
  • A little festive reward (on completion of trial) 

Where do you get the trail?  

Trails will be available at the Museum reception desk on arrival, or you are welcome to pre-book your trail here – The Big Museum Winter Trail.

  • 3rd to 23rd December, Daily, 10am – 3pm 
  • Cost £1.50 per trail

Father Christmas and Friends

Father Christmas and his Elves will be visiting St Fagans Museum once again this year, and you’re invited to a very special event in our festive setting at Llys Llywelyn, the Museum’s impressive reconstruction of a 13th century Princes CourtSo make sure you book a place for your little ones to come and join the fun.

Each child will: 

  • Meet Father Christmas – he’ll meet each child individually and they’ll receive a gift. There will be an opportunity to have your photograph taken with Father Christmas during this meet & greet.
  • Participate in an interactive storytime session with Father Christmas and the Elves.
  • Get creative in a Craft workshop with the Elves – each child will make their own special decoration to take home.

Timeslots & Language Choice: 

10th & 11th December

  • 10am       English
  • 11.15am  Welsh  
  • 12.30pm  English
  • 2.30pm    English 
  • 3.45pm    English

17th December

  • 10am       Welsh
  • 11.15am   Welsh  
  • 12.30pm  Welsh    
  • 2.30pm    Welsh     
  • 3.45pm    English 

The cost is £12.50 per child and you can get detail here – TICKETS

Carols in the Chapel

There’s nothing like a bit of carol singing to get you in the mood for the festive season.

Join everyone in the Museum’s 18th century Pen-rhiw Chapel for St Fagans’ favourite sing-a-long. There’ll be lots of traditional tunes and a few more contemporary Christmas classics.

  • 11am-12pm English
  • 1-2pm Welsh
  • 3-4pm English

Your Carols in the Chapel ticket includes 10% off a festive hot drink in Y Gegin (Includes: Mulled wine, tea, coffee, flavoured and liquor coffees and hot chocolates). Please show the server a copy of your ticket at the till in order to validate the offer. Only valid on date specified on the ticket.

Carols in the Chapel is on 17the and 18th December and the Cost £6. For details go HERE.

SANTA AT THE STADIUM

This is the perfect gift for any Rugby fan who also love a bit of festive cheer. The Principality Stadium opens its gates for something really special for those who want a chance to see the magic behind the stadium, with some festive cheer thrown in for good measure.

Following a two-year enforced pandemic break, the Principality Stadium has confirmed the big man will return for it’s SANTA EXPERIENCE in December, and this year it promises to be really special.

The Santa Experience at Principality Stadium lasts around an hour, and includes stadium tour highlights such as President’s Box, Away Dressing Room, Tunnel and the Ray Gravell Press Conference Room.

The SANTA EXPERIENCE runs from Friday 2nd through to Christmas Eve, Saturday 24th December. Tickets are priced from £10 per adult, and £12 for U16s which includes a gift from Santa! Alternatively family tickets are available for £40, which includes 2 adults and 2 children. Booking is online HERE.

Group Booking and Welsh Language Tours

For group bookings (20+ persons) please telephone. 029 20822308.  They are offering an early bird discount of 20% until 11the November and a 10% discount on group bookings thereafter. 

(For all group bookings, one adult also goes free for every 10 bookings)

To arrange tours in Welsh give the team a call on 029 20822308.

You can take a look at our feature HERE.

And a chance to win a FAMILY PASSHERE.

SIMPLY SINGERS – CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT

This will be such a lovely way to get ready for your festive activities.

Simply Singers, part of the Sally’s Angels group, is thrilled to be hosting another Carols by Candlelight evening in Pontyclun this December.

As well as celebrating our friendship and song, we will be filling you with lots of Christmas Cheer by performing a wealth of beautiful, festive music. As usual, we will be showcasing some talented vocal and instrumental soloists and introducing our special guests, Bryn Celynnog School Choir.

This year, Sally’s Angels is delighted to be supporting the Jacob Abraham Foundation, our charity of the year for 2023. This is a charity based in Cardiff that raises awareness of suicide and mental health and one that is very dear to our hearts.

Carols by Candlelight with Simply Singers and Bryn Celynnog School Choir is on Tuesday 6th December at Pontyclun Athletics Club at 7pm. Tickets are priced £7 and you can get yours HERE.

CARMARTHEN

WINTER WONDERLAND

Grab your skates and join them on the ice, set in Carmarthen Park. They also have a selection of Great Family & Extreme Rides, VR Gaming, Wales’s only Ice bar , Festive Food & Sweet Options, Santa’s Grotto, Local Craft & Christmas Gift Stalls there is something for everyone at Carmarthen Winter Wonderland.

The poster pretty much says it all but if you’d like to head to their site for a look around, just go HERE.

CHEPSTOW

CHRISTMAS CONCERT

Chepstow Choral Society present a selection of festive music and readings at Chepstow School Arts Hall on the 14th December at 7pm.

Chepstow Choral Society was formed in 1979, and has been performing live music in the town regularly ever since. Currently directed by Graham Bull, Head of Performing Arts at a leading Gloucestershire school, it has about 65 members in total, of all ages & abilities.

Tickets are £8 per adult, U18s and students free, includes light refreshments.

Tickets available from HERE Chepstow Bookshop, or on the door.

A VINTAGE OLD SCHOOL NATIVITY

The Musical Memory Makers present their take on the Nativity in the Chepstow Drill Hall on the 3rd and 4th December. Tickets are £6 available from Monmouthshire Building Society in Chepstow

CRICKHOWELL

CHRISTMAS FAIR

This year’s Christmas Fair in Crickhowell will take place on Thursday 1st December.  More details and information will be available shortly.  Please note they are unable to take any more bookings for stalls in The Clarence Hall, they are now full. 

For more details, go HERE

EBBW VALE

MIRACLE ON 34th STREET

Lighthouse Theatre present a live radio play version of the Oscar-winning classic Christmas film.

Mince pies and mulled wine / hot drinks included in your ticket!*

Lighthouse Theatre return this winter with a live radio play version of the Oscar-winning Classic film – a play that will delight the young and old alike with this tale of festive feeling.

The holiday season is in full swing when New York’s main department store hires an old man off the street to appear as their very own Santa Claus. He says his name is Kris Kringle, but all is not as it seems….

Following the success of It’s A Wonderful Life – A Live Radio Play, Lighthouse Theatre return with another Christmas Classic. Set in a 1940s New York Live broadcasting studio, Miracle On 34th Street will tour all over Wales, bringing a unique theatrical and broadcasting experience to a theatre near you.

Directed by Joe Harmston | Designed by Sean Cavanagh | Original music composed by Robert Singer. Foley artist and musical director – Kieran Bailey. A Pontardawe Arts Centre and Arts Council Wales co-production, supported by Tŷ Cerdd.

The show is at the Ebbw Vale Institute on Church Street on Tuesday 13th December. 7:00pm doors open, 7:30pm start. Tickets £10 or £8 concession. More details HERE.

MERTHYR TYDFIL

NEATH

WINTER FEST AT TRAGO

This one is all shiny and brand new at Trago.

Coming to Merthyr Tydfil for the first time, a real 10m x 20m Covered Ice Rink, plus stalls, rides other fun attractions at Trago Mills. £6.95 per child, £8.95 per adult (No booking fee) per 45 minute skating session between 13:00 & 21:00 Monday to Friday, and 11:00 & 21:00 Saturday & Sunday (Last skating session 20:00).

Join in the festive spirit at South Wales’ No1 shopping destination. Enjoy as always free parking. Make sure to get a bite to eat from our festive food and drink huts. Why not roast a marshmallow or two?

Trago has always been focussed on bringing something extra to the community and after a successful summer events campaign, and listening to our customers, we have decided to take it up a notch.

Merthyr has never hosted a winter fest, certainly not with a real ice rink. We want to offer families the opportunity to come together and enjoy the festive period with us.

ICE SKATING*: 1:00pm – 9:00pm
XMAS EVE: 11:00am – 5:00pm
FUNFAIR: 4:00pm – 8:00pm
SANTA’S GROTTO: 1:00pm – 8:00pm

For more details, head over to their site HERE.

LUMINATE WALES

This is definitely one of those, wrap up warm, grab the family, pack your camera and get out and have an amazing time events.

Following a sell-out debut year in 2019 and once again last year, LUMINATE WALES returns to Margam Country Park and Castle this Winter. A spectacular, illuminated trail, full of wonder and intrigue, to delight and enthral your senses.

As darkness descends, join the enchanting journey, as we weave a captivating light trail through the stunning, historic gardens of Margam Country Park and Castle. Immerse yourself in our mesmerising mile long walk, encapsulating some of your highlights and new additions.

A Timeless experience to be enjoyed by all, young and old alike.

The trail is open nightly from Thursday 17th November until Monday 2nd January 2023 (closed Christmas Day). Tickets must be pre-booked, online in advance.

You can take a look at our full feature – HERE.

The trail starts just off the car park, near the Orangery where you will follow the route through the Gardens, ascending up to the Castle and the Castle Courtyard and Cafe, pass in front of the Castle and descend back down, finishing back at the Orangery. The trail is approx one mile long.

Warm up by the fire pit, where you can toast marshmallows (purchase your marshmallows on site or bring your own marshmallows and skewers) and indulge in some of the hot food and snacks available to purchase from the Courtyard cafe (approx 3/4’s of the way around the walk, closes at approx 9pm), and small drinks and mulled wine huts along the route.

The trial starts right from the car park, there are no shops/food drink in this area, only toilets so please only arrive at the time of your booked slot.

For more details, and to book tickets, go HERE.

NEWPORT

CHRISTMAS AT TREDEGAR HOUSE

They have so much going on at Tredegar House over the festive period, there is simply too much to mention. So, we’ll go through the highlights and point you in the direction for more details.

The trees are up, the stockings have been hung and a traditional Tredegar House Christmas awaits you. Look out yuletide tours, festive crafts and the return of Scrooge as they welcome the holiday season.

Festive visits 

There’s a whole host of Christmas treats in store when you visit us this season, but please note that the house and gardens are open for long weekends only (Friday – Monday) throughout December, before opening daily from 16 – 22 December. The café, park and car park will be open every day. We look forward to welcoming you this season. 

Yuletide tours

For those wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of the weekend, why not join us after hours for a guided tour? Our expert historians will take you on a journey to Christmases past with the Morgan family, to find out more about the festive traditions in years gone by as you explore the mansion house. A glass of mulled wine or soft drink and a mince pie is included.

  • 2, 9, 16 December, 6pm – 7pm or 7pm – 8pm
  • £12.50 per person. Tours must be booked in advance. 
  • Other food and drink is not permitted in the mansion house. 
  • Due to the historic architecture of the house, the route will include steps and is unfortunately unsuitable those who are less mobile.

Get creative 

Spark your creativity with arts and crafts activities this winter. We’ll have free, self-led family-friendly Christmas crafts available every weekend in the Orangery, between 3 – 18 December. Or if you’re looking for something a little more challenging, Busy Bees Patchwork will be running an embroidery snowflake workshop on 3 December, while Sero will be making Christmas wreaths on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December. We’ll also be joined by the Wales Society of Botanical Illustrators on Saturdays from 3 – 17 December, who will be running winter themed painting sessions in the Laundry. 

  • Family-friendly crafts will be running on Saturdays and Sundays from 3 – 18 December, between 11am – 3pm. This is included as part of your visit. 
  • Busy Bees’ snowflake embroidery workshop will take place on Saturday 3 December, from 10am – 1pm in the Laundry. Tickets cost £25 and should be booked in advance. Admission to the house and gardens is not included. Book your place here.
  • Sero’s wreath making sessions will run on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December, with morning workshops from 10am to 12pm and afternoon workshops from 2pm – 4pm in the Lesser Barn. Tickets cost £50 and should be booked in advance. Admission to the house and gardens is not included. Book your place here.
  • Drop by to join the Wales Society of Botanical Illustrators’ painting sessions between 1pm – 4pm on 3 and 10 December, and from 10am- 4pm on 17 December. Watch the experts create intricate Winter themed botanic paintings for free, or have a go yourself for £5. You do not need to book for this event. 

Christmas market

Cotyledon food and craft market will be joining them for a special seasonal treat. With stalls filled with local produce, from handmade jewellery to artisan cheese, this is the perfect place to pick up unique Christmas gifts for your loved ones. 

  • 10 – 11 December, 10am – 4pm
  • Free to enjoy 
  • Located in the car park

Magical music weekend 

Find the house and grounds filled with cheerful festive music when you visit just before Christmas. With choirs, pianists and even a few singalongs, musicians from across the community will be adding an extra magical touch as the holidays begin.

  • 17 – 18 December, 10.30am – 4pm 
  • Performances will be included in the price of admission, however choirs will be free to watch in the home farm
  • Located throughout the site in the house, orangery, riding school and home farm.

Scrooge returns! 

Watch out! Mr Scrooge returns to Tredegar House this Christmas – for every “Merry Christmas” he hears, there’s a “Bah, Humbug!” in response. Look out for his faded night gown and furrowed frown as you wander through the mansion house.

  • Scrooge will be roaming the house from 17 – 22 December, from 11am – 3pm
  • This is included as part of your visit. 

Christmas at TREDEGAR HOUSE is always special, and a lovely place to visit anytime. To see everything they have on offer, go here – TREDEGAR.

CHRISTMAS AT THE CELTIC MANOR RESORT

Even if you only go for a walk through and a drink at the CELTIC MANOR RESORT you will feel incredibly festive when you leave, they always do Christmas very well and this year is no exception. To get you in the mood, take a look at the video below.

The Celtic Collection is committed to sustainability and in order to reduce the impact on the environment, they have moved to a ‘Crackerless’ Christmas on selected events. As well as helping reduce considerable waste from this throwaway item, they will also make a donation to Hospitality Action – a much more valuable gift.

It’s difficult to go through everything, but here’s a few highlights……..

SANTA’S TEA PARTY 27th NOVEMBER – 24th DECEMBER

Join us for a magical festive experience, where grown-ups and children alike will be enchanted into a whimsical wonderland, as they step into our captivating Caernarfon Suite, to meet the main man himself – Santa Claus!

Are you on the naughty or nice list? Find out from Santa and hear his fascinating tales about the toy workshop and the special preparations that will take place on Christmas Eve.

Expect a whimsical day filled with festive fun, friendly faces and delicious, sweet treats. Most importantly, watch those little faces light up and the magic grow, as children aged 12 years and under receive their special stocking filler, all the way from the North Pole.

Minimum 4 guests and maximum 12 guests per table.

PRICES

27th November
£28 adults, £18 children

3rd December
£30 
adults, £20 children

4th, 10th & 11th December
£32 adults, £22 children

17th & 18th December
£36 adults, £26 children

21st & 22nd December
£28 adults, £18 children

23rd December
£38 adults, £28 children

24th December
£43 adults, £33 children

For more details on the Tea Party go HERE.

CHRISTMAS PARTIES

Take your pick from an array of exciting themed party nights, from Gangsters & Molls and Prosecc Ho-Ho-Ho Party to our glittering White Christmas Party and Masquerade Ball.

The calendar for the parties is absolutely enormous, but we’ve checked, and a lot of them are already completely sold out. To see the full list, go here – PARTIES.

FESTIVE STAYS

Choose your perfect setting for an unforgettable Christmas filled with magical moments. They have everything on offer, to suit most pockets, at a variety of locations.

Of course a family Christmas is right up there, but the resort also provide adult only signature stays if you want time alone, or maybe away from the kids.

For more details of what’s on offer, go HERE.

CHRISTMAS AT THE LYSAGHT INSTITUTE

The LYSAGHT INSTITUTE is one of the most iconic venues in Newport and provides a stunning backdrop for any event. The rooms are very special decorated in a 1920s Art Deco style, with original balconies and beautifully landscaped gardens.

VISIT SANTA

Father Christmas and his team of elves will be returning to Lysaght Institute to meet all the good boys and girls, parents and grandparents from Sunday 4th December.

He will be here on Sunday 4th December, Sunday 18th December and Wednesday 21st December.

They have by popular demand decided to operate a booking system this year, so all bookings to see Father Christmas have to be made online here.

Once you arrive at Lysaght Institute you will be issued with your number, and each family will enjoy meeting with Father Christmas in his magical Christmas Grotto where all the good boys and girls will receive a special letter and gift.

Have something to eat and drink, refreshments will be available to purchase during your visit.

Ticket Price: £14 per child (adults accompanying child/children are FREE)

Tickets are non-refundable, times cannot be altered, please ensure you arrive no later than 5 minutes before your slot.

Please note that you will be taken to see Father Christmas (by our cheeky elves) at any time within the hour’s timeslot, we cannot guarantee accurate times.

For more details, and tickets, go HERE.

CLASSIC CHRISTMAS PARTY

Get into the festive spirit at one of the Lysaght Classic Christmas Parties!

Enter the beautiful, iconic ballroom where your festive cocktail on arrival awaits you. Enjoy a succulent Hog roast, or one of the delicious vegan or vegetarian alternatives, accompanied with half a bottle of wine per person. Then dance the night away to all those festive party classics and chart toppers from over the years! 

Please note the book now link will take you to our ticket booking platform, Eventbrite. The Christmas party dates are on this single page. Please make sure you check your booking carefully to ensure you have selected the date you would like to attend as we may not be able to offer a transfer. 

Full details HERE.

CITY OF NEWPORT MALE VOICE CHOIR CHRISTMAS CONCERT

Come along to the City of Newport Male Choir Christmas Concert 2022 and they’ll treat you to a good old festive singalong, with festive refreshments during the interval for each guest. The bar will be open for the afternoon for guests to purchase further refreshments if you wish.

The concert is on Sunday 11th December at 3:15pm. More detail can be found HERE.

PEMBREY

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS FAYRE

Pembrey Country Park & Beach is always a hive of activities throughout the year and this festive season is no different. The TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS FAYRE has everything you’d expect and so much more. There’ll be lots of Christmas gift ideas along with a variety of refreshments. Santa will be in the park both days along with his reindeer and local choirs will entertain you with Christmas Carols.

The TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS FAYRE is at Pembrey Country Park on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December between 10am and 4pm each day. For more details go here PEMBREY

Christmas Wreath Making, Mulled Wine & Mince Pies

Create your very own beautiful Christmas wreath surrounded by aromas of pines and evergreen. All natural materials provided and included in the price along with a glass of mulled wine & mince pie.

Breakfast with Father Christmas

Come along and join Father Christmas for breakfast at Yr Orsaf while he takes some time out from his busy workload getting all the presents made for all the little boys and girls for his deliveries on Christmas Day.

Après Ski Party Night

Its party night at the Ski & Activity Centre where the slope will be lit up with our Toboggan by Night and glow up tubes. Join the elves on the slopes with the sit down skis.

Christmas Light Trail 9 – 22 December

Join us for their BIGGER & BETTER magical after-dark experience that brings to life the nature found at this beautiful place. See coloured lights illuminating the trees and sculptures.

Open from 9th December right through to 22nd from 5pm – 8pm daily.

Toboggan by Night 9 – 22 December

Join in at the Ski & Activity Centre to ride the Toboggans around the magical Christmas light

Full details on all those events HERE.

PONTARDAWE

PONTYPOOL

PONTYPRIDD

COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS

Christmas celebrations begin with Pontypridd Town Council’s Christmas Cracker on Saturday 26th November, from 2pm – 7pm.

Organised by Pontypridd Town Council in partnership with Your Pontypridd Business Improvement District (BID) and Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, the event will feature an outdoor cinema, market stalls, children’s entertainment, fairground rides, reindeer and a very special festive guest, culminating in the official switching on of Pontypridd town centre’s Christmas lights. 

Pontypridd Town Council’s Christmas Cracker event will begin at 2pm with fairground rides and market stalls peppered along Taff Street. 

Festive favourite Arthur Christmas will be shown on the big screen from 3.30pm at a free outdoor cinema located on Mill Street. Limited seating will be available, early arrival is advised to secure your spot. 

Local radio station GTFM will host proceedings and a very special guest will declare Christmas in Pontypridd officially underway by switching on Pontypridd town centre’s Christmas lights at 6pm at the main stage on Taff Street.

Further events are planned by Pontypridd Town Council throughout December. 

Pontypridd Museum will be home to Santa’s Grotto and a Christmas market every Saturday in December in the run-up to Christmas, with the Grotto open on the 3rd, 10th and 17th December from 10am – 4pm. Entry to the grotto is free, with donations to the Mayor’s charity welcomed. 

Take a look at our feature HERE.

RAGLAN

RHONDDA

SANTA’S TOY MINE

Santa and his amazing Toy Mine are returning to A Welsh Coal Mining Experience at Rhondda Heritage Park for 2022.

The ever-popular event takes place from November 19 to December 24, allowing visitors the chance to enjoy a festive tour and experience and meet the man in red himself!

As well as a magical tour filled with Christmas surprises, the event will also include themed activities, including write a letter to Santa, that will take place in small log huts scattered throughout the site.

A Christmas photo and gift shop will be open so you can choose the perfect gift or treat and the on-site Chocolate House and Craft of Hearts will also be offering workshops and sessions where you can make your own chocolate treat or get creative! (Book  direct and separately with them).

Mulled wine will be sold on site and Caffe Bracchi will be open, serving a range of hot and cold drinks, meals and snacks – plus the odd mince pie or two!

Cllr Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure told us…..

“Santa’s helpers at A Welsh Coal Mining Experience have made a list, they’ve checked it twice and are excited to announce that Santa’s Toy Mine can go ahead for 2022.

“Santa’s Toy Mine is one of the most popular events of the year and there is a real sense of magic and fun at A Welsh Coal Mining Experience throughout the Christmas season.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors in 2022 for lots of festive fun.”

Santa’s Toy Mine is open Saturday 19th November – Saturday 24th December but we need to tell you that it is selling out really fast.

For more details and to book, go HERE

SWANSEA

CHRISTMAS GIFT AND CRAFT FAIR

Come and support small businesses at this fantastic event. Lots of gifts, food and many other treats available on the day at the swansea.com stadium.

It’s open from 10:00am – 3:00pm on Sunday 27th November. Best of all it’s FREE entry to the fayre. More details HERE.

They also have a number of other festive ‘sit-down meal’ events at the stadium including A TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS and a ROYAL BANQUET CHRISTMAS PARTY.

For details of everything at the stadium, go HERE.

WATERFRONT WINTERLAND

A Swansea Christmas just wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Waterfront Winterland until 8th January 2023.

Museum Park will be transformed into Waterfront Winterland for the festive period with everyone’s favourite attractions – including The covered ice rink, open-air ice walk, and extended Alpine Village to enjoy festive food and drink, live music, socialise and soak up the festivities!

Ice Skating returns to Waterfront Winterland this year, with the ever popular covered rink now being accompanied by a magical Ice Walk which meanders through the trees – and skaters will have access to both during their skating sessions!

Opening Hours

  • Monday – Friday: 13.00 – 22.00
  • Saturday – Sunday: 11.00 – 22.00
  • 5th December onwards:
  • Daily: 11.00 – 22.00
  • Special Opening Hours:
  • Christmas Eve – 24th December: 11.00 -20.00
  • Christmas Day – 25th December: Closed
  • Boxing Day – 26th December: 13.00 – 20.00
  • New Years Eve – 31st December: 11.00 – 20.00
  • New Years Day – 1st January: 11.00 – 20.00
  • Last Day – 8th January: 11.00 – 21.00

You can get more details on the WATERFRONT WINTERLAND right HERE.

Waterfront Winterland

SANTA’S GROTTO AT DAN-Yr-OGOF

Around an hour from Cardiff and north of Swansea, The National Showcaves Centre for Wales is an absolute must visit at anytime of the year. But we can guarantee their special ‘magical’ Christmas experience is something you’ll all remember for the rest of the year?

Just 20 minutes from the M4, (junction 45), there is a Welsh mountain, with ancient caves, whose entrances are guarded by gigantic, but very friendly dinosaurs! But deep inside this mountain lie Wales’ only natural Christmas grottos… Fantastic!

DAN-YR-OGOF CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCE is something more than a little different.

Take a look at their video to see why.

The sights and sounds you will experience on our journey are not of this world! Vast colourful, hanging cave formations have all been transformed by the truly stunning Christmas decorations put up by Santa’s elves.

You’ll see Santa’s ever-faithful elves helping nearby and even get a chance to speak to Santa, and take pictures with him.

They will be open on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th November 2022, and Saturday 3rd, Sunday 4th, Saturday 10th, Sunday 11th, Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th December 2022.

The Santa visits start at 10.15am and run throughout the day until 3.15pm – please check the online booking page for available times to see Santa.

If you book an afternoon visit, you are welcome to come along earlier to see the other attractions – but REMEMBER, you MUST be ready to see Santa at the time you have booked. The Coffee Shop will be open from 9.30am, the Rock and Dino Shop opens at 10.00am, and the Shire Horse Centre and Farm will be open from 11.00am. The attractions start to close from 3.00pm.

In the meantime, you can head to their site for more information and to book, go here. SHOWCAVES

TALBOT GREEN

TREORCHY

USK

CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL

The USK CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL (also known as Usk Winter Festival) is just part of some amazing events they have lined up in Usk. There’ll be the usual mix of craft stalls, food & drink, & entertainment in Twyn Square.

CHRISTMAS MARKETS
Sat 3rd & 4th Dec
10 am to 4 pm Twyn Square
Craft Stalls, Food & Drink
& All Day Children’s Entertainment by A Handful of Hats

FESTIVAL of CAROLS
4pm – 4.45pm Sun 4th Dec
Priory Church of St Mary

LANTERN PARADE
5pm Sun 4th Dec
lead by Henllys Pipe Band from Twyn Square to Sessions House.
Mince pies & Mulled Wine at Sessions House
with Fiery Jack’s Family Circus

LANTERN WORKSHOPS
Priory Church of St Mary’s
Sat & Sun 12.30pm -4pm
Usk Hub
Sat 26th Nov 10am- 12pm
Mon 28th Nov 4pm- 6pm
or make your own lantern.

We think the poster says it all………..

20 THINGS TO DO ON CHRISTMAS EVE

  • Spend Time With Loved Ones
  • Sing Christmas Carols
  • Go For a Walk To Look at Christmas Lights
  • Close The Curtains and Turn On The Christmas Lights
  • Take Pictures and Post Them
  • Open ONE Pressie
  • Make a Special Meal
  • Dress Up Like It’s a Special Evening (which it is)
  • Get Snuggled Up On The Sofa
  • Watch A Festive Movie
  • Follow Santa – There are Apps Which Let You Track His Progress
  • TV Off, Christmas Music On
  • Leave a Mince Pie For Santa & Carrot For Rudolph
  • Drop In On The Neighbours
  • Bake. Whatever You Make, It’s A Great Time to Get in the Kitchen With the Kids
  • Go To Church – If That’s What You Do, Plan It Into Your Evening
  • Make A Hot Chocolate With All The Extras. It’s Christmas After All.
  • Build A Snowman (If We Have Any Snow That Is)
  • Prepare What You Can For Christmas Dinner
  • Go To Bed Early

ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS DAY

Go For a Dip In The Sea

On Christmas Day, all across South Wales and indeed up and down the country, people are putting on their Santa hats, maybe fancy dress, or unbelievably, a swimming costume. They then race into the freezing sea for fun and charity. Like the lovely folk in Tenby.

Get Out On Your Bike

If you get a bike off Santa, or maybe you have one collecting dust in the shed, Christmas Day (weather permitting) is the perfect time to take your two-wheeler out on the streets.

Go To A Christmas Service or Concert

If you’ve had enough of the TV and kitchen, then one of the many services and Christmas concerts are a really good thing to do. It’s sociable and incredibly festive. And really no one minds if you can’t sing, just join in.

Help Others

There are so many charities in need volunteers all year round, but especially at Christmas. If you have a few hours free and want to do something different and very good, why not offer to lend a hand. It could even be dropping in to a neighbour who is alone on the day.

Tour South Wales

I know what you’re thinking, how ridiculous. Actually, there is no better day to tour this amazing region of ours. Very few cars, relatively empty streets, what’s not to enjoy? Our parks, beaches and countryside are all yours (almost).

Borrow a Dog

If you don’t have your own, trust us, a friend will gladly lend you theirs. While they veg-out, you can lead-up their pet and get out for a long walk in the fresh air. The dog will love you for it and you’ll probably love yourself enough to have another mince pie.

Pamper Yourself

This is precisely what it says on the tin. If you don’t want to leave the house why not flip things on their head and instead of pigging out in front of the TV, pamper yourself. Nice bath, music, candles, the whole works. All day Christmas PJ’s are so last year.

A LETTER FROM YOU KNOW WHO

We don’t know if this will help but it’s here for you to do as you please. We’re sure you know what we mean………

MAKE A SNOW GLOBE

The shimmering magic of snowfall is always transfixing, whether it’s outside your window or inside this classic toy. Homemade globes let you create a wintry scene straight out of your own imagination. Thanks to Martha Stewart, here’s a simple way that you and the kids can make your own globes. They are really easy too. HERE.

FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONGS

CHRISTMAS TOP TEN

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a good old festive tune. Noddy Holder has made a pension out of it for goodness sake. We walk into a shop and the same old favourites will be ringing out, but no matter what you think, I can guarantee you’ll be singing along to every one of them/

Here at SOUTH WALES LIFE we’ve been around the music game for a lot of years, and I mean a lot. While we would never disagree with any favourite festive song list, we think ours are real classics…….

And to finish off, here are 20 Christmas Favourites to enjoy. Just press play and away you go……..

CHRISTMAS RECIPES

COMING SOON………